Will the automobile keep its soul as the industry transforms itself?
At the 1964 New York World’s Fair automakers were center stage. General Motors exhibited the Firebird IV concept car. GM explained how it, “anticipates the day when the family will drive to the super-highway, turn over the car’s controls to an automatic, programmed guidance system and travel in comfort and absolute safety at more than twice the speed possible on today’s expressways.” Ford introduced a vehicle for the more immediate future: the Mustang. With an eye toward the segment that would later be named the baby boomers, the Ford Division’s general manager (a not-yet-40-year-old engineer named Lee Iacocca) explained that the car brought “total performance” to a “young America out to have a good time.” Ford estimated it would sell 100,000 Mustangs during that first year; in fact, it would sell more than 400,000.